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Research projects

Targeting immune responses in atherosclerosis

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress


Ashok Kumawat

Contact: Ashok Kumawat and Rosanne Reitsema

Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the arterial wall and considered to be the most common underlying cause of the cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Atherosclerosis is characterized by an accumulation of cholesterol and activated immune cells in the arterial wall.

The primary objective of this project is to elucidate the contribution of IL17 cytokine and the danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) molecule HMGB1 to the development of atherosclerosis in humans. Additionally, we aim to assess the potential of "Affibody molecules" as therapeutic agents targeting IL17 and HMGB1 to mitigate vascular inflammation. Affibody molecules, which are small protein molecules derived from non-antibody sources, exhibit desirable properties such as excellent tissue penetration, non-fragment crystallizable (Fc) portion binding, and the ability to adopt diverse multi-specific formats.

Our recent investigations have demonstrated the inhibitory effects of Affibody molecules targeting IL17, resulting in the attenuation of inflammation in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. Based on these compelling findings, we are now focusing on evaluating the efficacy of Affibody molecules against both IL17 and HMGB1 in the context of human atherosclerosis. Through comprehensive assessments of their impact on suppressing inflammation, our research aims to shed light on the therapeutic potential of Affibody molecules in alleviating vascular inflammation associated with atherosclerosis in humans.

Research funding bodies

  • The Knowledge Foundation


  • Affibody AB
  • TATAA Biocenter AB